Certification questions

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    About 10 years ago I left what used to be DEC having had nearly 15 years of
    PDP11/Vax experience ranging from Field Service to Corporate Support
    (messaging). PCs world had only just come to DEC arena and Windows 3.1, OS/2
    and so on were around.

    Did a round of agencies and the concensus was that there was a surplus
    supply of DEC Engineers and the world needed PC/Windows expertise. My family
    was young and I had no access to PC. so, the decision was made that we go
    self employed non-IT. We did this and I bought myself a PC. Soon I got the
    hang of it and a year and half later the IT bug bit again and I started
    peddling myself as the PC/Windows person. I charged just under 3rd of the
    going rate and allowed people to pay after the job. So, they happily put up
    with me but I soon realised I was more often than not 'out of pocket'. So,
    started selling 3rd party software and giving training for the same on Mac
    and PC platforms. Meanwhile we needed systems for our businesses and your
    truly being a cheapskate and a dabhand decided to implement stuff himself.
    Started with Win95 and graduated to SBS2003.

    Last year as the family had grown up, we decided to sell our businesses and
    get jobs. I thougth with my hands on experience of IT albeit in my own
    business would get me some job but sadly 'no' because in the words of agency
    'I do not have any commercial experience'. So, I thought I will get some
    certifications under my belt. And this is where I need your help.

    I have looked through the syllabuses or is it syllabi! for MSCE and CCNA and
    find that I am familiar with 90% of the content. What I need to know is where
    I should start. My research has so far revealed these type of outfits:

    - charging anything upto £8000 for getting you A+ , N+, MSCA and MSCE and
    beyond.
    - those selling onlne subscription based training
    - selling training (27 CDs) - no books required - for as low as $795
    - Microsoft's own book, classroom, e-learning etc

    Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am looking
    for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.

    All thoughts/ guidance gratefully received.
    =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=, Jul 31, 2007
    #1
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  2. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    TheITGirl Guest

    "FreeSpirit" <> wrote in message
    news:D...
    > Hi,
    >
    > About 10 years ago I left what used to be DEC having had nearly 15 years
    > of
    > PDP11/Vax experience ranging from Field Service to Corporate Support
    > (messaging). PCs world had only just come to DEC arena and Windows 3.1,
    > OS/2
    > and so on were around.
    >
    > Did a round of agencies and the concensus was that there was a surplus
    > supply of DEC Engineers and the world needed PC/Windows expertise. My
    > family
    > was young and I had no access to PC. so, the decision was made that we go
    > self employed non-IT. We did this and I bought myself a PC. Soon I got the
    > hang of it and a year and half later the IT bug bit again and I started
    > peddling myself as the PC/Windows person. I charged just under 3rd of the
    > going rate and allowed people to pay after the job. So, they happily put
    > up
    > with me but I soon realised I was more often than not 'out of pocket'. So,
    > started selling 3rd party software and giving training for the same on Mac
    > and PC platforms. Meanwhile we needed systems for our businesses and your
    > truly being a cheapskate and a dabhand decided to implement stuff himself.
    > Started with Win95 and graduated to SBS2003.
    >
    > Last year as the family had grown up, we decided to sell our businesses
    > and
    > get jobs. I thougth with my hands on experience of IT albeit in my own
    > business would get me some job but sadly 'no' because in the words of
    > agency
    > 'I do not have any commercial experience'. So, I thought I will get some
    > certifications under my belt. And this is where I need your help.
    >
    > I have looked through the syllabuses or is it syllabi! for MSCE and CCNA
    > and
    > find that I am familiar with 90% of the content. What I need to know is
    > where
    > I should start. My research has so far revealed these type of outfits:
    >
    > - charging anything upto £8000 for getting you A+ , N+, MSCA and MSCE and
    > beyond.
    > - those selling onlne subscription based training
    > - selling training (27 CDs) - no books required - for as low as $795
    > - Microsoft's own book, classroom, e-learning etc
    >
    > Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    > which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am
    > looking
    > for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.
    >
    > All thoughts/ guidance gratefully received.


    Hi Free Spirit!

    There's no need to pay megabucks for your training, especially if, as you
    say, you are already familiar with 90% of the syllabus content. You sound
    as if you just need to plug the gaps in your knowledge.

    I can recommend the MS Press books - these come with a 15% discount voucher
    that can be used towards the exam fee. You also get a free CD with 300
    practice exam questions on. You can get these from Amazon for about £27
    each. You can also buy the set of 4 Windows Server 2003 books for £80-£90
    from Amazon - this set costs over £100 in the shops. From the time of your
    post and your use of the word "dabhand" I'm assuming you're a fellow Brit
    here, BTW!

    I also like to supplement the MS Press books with the Exam Cram books - the
    latter are more concise, but you can often find bits of information in the
    Exam Crams that are not in the MS Press books, and vice-versa. The Exam
    Crams cost about £20 and also come with a free practice exam CD - these
    usually only have about 50 questions on though.

    If you are in the UK, I can also recommend Register Books at
    http://books.theregister.co.uk/ for your IT books. Sometimes they are
    cheaper than Amazon and there are no delivery charges. Even using their
    free delivery service, books from them usually arrive the next day.

    Hope this helps.

    IT Girl MCDST
    TheITGirl, Jul 31, 2007
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Thanks very much 'TheITGirl' for the quick response. I am, as you rightly
    guessed, in Britain. Nice to have the reply from locals - at least then I
    know everything is resourceable (sp!!)

    I shall certainly get the books. My hunt has also brought me to the following:

    www.microsoft-certification.co.uk - these folks do subscription based
    training at £599 (24/7 mentoring, free updates etc..)

    and http://www.pviva1.com/index.asp do CBT offer on and the best value they
    do is Full MCSE (2003) and CCNA 640-801 for £219.

    There is a lot of difference - £599 for just one year or £219 for 42 CD Roms
    that will stay with me - good reference/refresher.

    I would appreciate very much if you or any other kind soul will just give me
    a low down on these two offerings, or what questions to ask (first one seems
    very keen to sell and the second one competes on price - I shall go books
    plus one of these routes.

    Thanks in advance.

    "TheITGirl" wrote:

    >
    > "FreeSpirit" <> wrote in message
    > news:D...
    > > Hi,
    > >
    > > About 10 years ago I left what used to be DEC having had nearly 15 years
    > > of
    > > PDP11/Vax experience ranging from Field Service to Corporate Support
    > > (messaging). PCs world had only just come to DEC arena and Windows 3.1,
    > > OS/2
    > > and so on were around.
    > >
    > > Did a round of agencies and the concensus was that there was a surplus
    > > supply of DEC Engineers and the world needed PC/Windows expertise. My
    > > family
    > > was young and I had no access to PC. so, the decision was made that we go
    > > self employed non-IT. We did this and I bought myself a PC. Soon I got the
    > > hang of it and a year and half later the IT bug bit again and I started
    > > peddling myself as the PC/Windows person. I charged just under 3rd of the
    > > going rate and allowed people to pay after the job. So, they happily put
    > > up
    > > with me but I soon realised I was more often than not 'out of pocket'. So,
    > > started selling 3rd party software and giving training for the same on Mac
    > > and PC platforms. Meanwhile we needed systems for our businesses and your
    > > truly being a cheapskate and a dabhand decided to implement stuff himself.
    > > Started with Win95 and graduated to SBS2003.
    > >
    > > Last year as the family had grown up, we decided to sell our businesses
    > > and
    > > get jobs. I thougth with my hands on experience of IT albeit in my own
    > > business would get me some job but sadly 'no' because in the words of
    > > agency
    > > 'I do not have any commercial experience'. So, I thought I will get some
    > > certifications under my belt. And this is where I need your help.
    > >
    > > I have looked through the syllabuses or is it syllabi! for MSCE and CCNA
    > > and
    > > find that I am familiar with 90% of the content. What I need to know is
    > > where
    > > I should start. My research has so far revealed these type of outfits:
    > >
    > > - charging anything upto £8000 for getting you A+ , N+, MSCA and MSCE and
    > > beyond.
    > > - those selling onlne subscription based training
    > > - selling training (27 CDs) - no books required - for as low as $795
    > > - Microsoft's own book, classroom, e-learning etc
    > >
    > > Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    > > which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am
    > > looking
    > > for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.
    > >
    > > All thoughts/ guidance gratefully received.

    >
    > Hi Free Spirit!
    >
    > There's no need to pay megabucks for your training, especially if, as you
    > say, you are already familiar with 90% of the syllabus content. You sound
    > as if you just need to plug the gaps in your knowledge.
    >
    > I can recommend the MS Press books - these come with a 15% discount voucher
    > that can be used towards the exam fee. You also get a free CD with 300
    > practice exam questions on. You can get these from Amazon for about £27
    > each. You can also buy the set of 4 Windows Server 2003 books for £80-£90
    > from Amazon - this set costs over £100 in the shops. From the time of your
    > post and your use of the word "dabhand" I'm assuming you're a fellow Brit
    > here, BTW!
    >
    > I also like to supplement the MS Press books with the Exam Cram books - the
    > latter are more concise, but you can often find bits of information in the
    > Exam Crams that are not in the MS Press books, and vice-versa. The Exam
    > Crams cost about £20 and also come with a free practice exam CD - these
    > usually only have about 50 questions on though.
    >
    > If you are in the UK, I can also recommend Register Books at
    > http://books.theregister.co.uk/ for your IT books. Sometimes they are
    > cheaper than Amazon and there are no delivery charges. Even using their
    > free delivery service, books from them usually arrive the next day.
    >
    > Hope this helps.
    >
    > IT Girl MCDST
    >
    >
    >
    =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=, Jul 31, 2007
    #3
  4. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    Montreal MCT Guest

    Hi FreeSpirit,

    Firstly welcome back into the fold! TheITGirl has given you some good
    advice. I hope she will not mind if I kick in my own two cents worth
    (sorry, I am from Canada and do not do pence!)

    Back in 2000 when I thought I knew everything I made a statement to an
    assistant that I could pass my certification exams without any problems
    because I had looked at the syllabus and knew most of the material. Of
    course I was wrong, and it was a humbling lesson that I have not forgotten.
    Certification exams are not easy, even if you know the material.

    If you truly are a free spirit then you probably do not need the classroom
    training, but what ITGirl says is a great idea. Microsoft Press' Self Paced
    Training series are not only great books (I count 14 of them on my
    bookshelf) they come with excellent practice tests which are a very good
    benchmark for how ready you are for the real thing. I have never failed an
    exam that I used those practice tests to prepare for. If you are ready then
    you can go and take the exam live. If you are not the Readiness Review will
    tell you what areas you are weak on so that you can go back and study
    pinpointed areas rather than the whole show.

    If you do find yourself in need of mentoring these newsgroups are always
    available... and though often you will have to wade through a lot of chaff
    to get to the wheat, it will not take you too long to see whose answers you
    should depend on and whose you should question.

    Many of us maintain blogs and write articles about the certification
    process. Aside from my blog you should check out www.certguard.com, always
    a good source of material.

    Good luck and enjoy the journey!

    M

    --
    Mitch Garvis, MCT
    MCSA, MCITP, MCDST, MCTS
    Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Customer Experience
    Visit my blog at http://blog.mitchgarvis.com
    "FreeSpirit" <> wrote in message
    news:D...

    > Hi,
    >
    > About 10 years ago I left what used to be DEC having had nearly 15 years
    > of
    > PDP11/Vax experience ranging from Field Service to Corporate Support
    > (messaging). PCs world had only just come to DEC arena and Windows 3.1,
    > OS/2
    > and so on were around.
    >
    > Did a round of agencies and the concensus was that there was a surplus
    > supply of DEC Engineers and the world needed PC/Windows expertise. My
    > family
    > was young and I had no access to PC. so, the decision was made that we go
    > self employed non-IT. We did this and I bought myself a PC. Soon I got the
    > hang of it and a year and half later the IT bug bit again and I started
    > peddling myself as the PC/Windows person. I charged just under 3rd of the
    > going rate and allowed people to pay after the job. So, they happily put
    > up
    > with me but I soon realised I was more often than not 'out of pocket'. So,
    > started selling 3rd party software and giving training for the same on Mac
    > and PC platforms. Meanwhile we needed systems for our businesses and your
    > truly being a cheapskate and a dabhand decided to implement stuff himself.
    > Started with Win95 and graduated to SBS2003.
    >
    > Last year as the family had grown up, we decided to sell our businesses
    > and
    > get jobs. I thougth with my hands on experience of IT albeit in my own
    > business would get me some job but sadly 'no' because in the words of
    > agency
    > 'I do not have any commercial experience'. So, I thought I will get some
    > certifications under my belt. And this is where I need your help.
    >
    > I have looked through the syllabuses or is it syllabi! for MSCE and CCNA
    > and
    > find that I am familiar with 90% of the content. What I need to know is
    > where
    > I should start. My research has so far revealed these type of outfits:
    >
    > - charging anything upto £8000 for getting you A+ , N+, MSCA and MSCE and
    > beyond.
    > - those selling onlne subscription based training
    > - selling training (27 CDs) - no books required - for as low as $795
    > - Microsoft's own book, classroom, e-learning etc
    >
    > Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    > which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am
    > looking
    > for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.
    >
    > All thoughts/ guidance gratefully received.
    Montreal MCT, Jul 31, 2007
    #4
  5. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    Lukas Beeler Guest

    * FreeSpirit <>:
    > Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    > which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am looking
    > for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.


    By pure coincidence, i wrote about getting MS certifications
    on-your-own today:

    http://projectdream.org/wordpress/2...ertification-on-your-own-a-step-by-step-list/

    In general, you can learn everything by stuff available from the
    internet, with evaluation versions of Windows, freely available
    Virtual Server or VMware server, Microsoft's Online
    Documentation, Technet, etc. pp.

    --
    Read my blog at http://projectdream.org
    Lukas Beeler, Jul 31, 2007
    #5
  6. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    Consultant Guest

    weird, i started out working on dec as well, then moved to sun, then to
    client server. small world

    "FreeSpirit" <> wrote in message
    news:D...
    > Hi,
    >
    > About 10 years ago I left what used to be DEC having had nearly 15 years
    > of
    > PDP11/Vax experience ranging from Field Service to Corporate Support
    > (messaging). PCs world had only just come to DEC arena and Windows 3.1,
    > OS/2
    > and so on were around.
    >
    > Did a round of agencies and the concensus was that there was a surplus
    > supply of DEC Engineers and the world needed PC/Windows expertise. My
    > family
    > was young and I had no access to PC. so, the decision was made that we go
    > self employed non-IT. We did this and I bought myself a PC. Soon I got the
    > hang of it and a year and half later the IT bug bit again and I started
    > peddling myself as the PC/Windows person. I charged just under 3rd of the
    > going rate and allowed people to pay after the job. So, they happily put
    > up
    > with me but I soon realised I was more often than not 'out of pocket'. So,
    > started selling 3rd party software and giving training for the same on Mac
    > and PC platforms. Meanwhile we needed systems for our businesses and your
    > truly being a cheapskate and a dabhand decided to implement stuff himself.
    > Started with Win95 and graduated to SBS2003.
    >
    > Last year as the family had grown up, we decided to sell our businesses
    > and
    > get jobs. I thougth with my hands on experience of IT albeit in my own
    > business would get me some job but sadly 'no' because in the words of
    > agency
    > 'I do not have any commercial experience'. So, I thought I will get some
    > certifications under my belt. And this is where I need your help.
    >
    > I have looked through the syllabuses or is it syllabi! for MSCE and CCNA
    > and
    > find that I am familiar with 90% of the content. What I need to know is
    > where
    > I should start. My research has so far revealed these type of outfits:
    >
    > - charging anything upto £8000 for getting you A+ , N+, MSCA and MSCE and
    > beyond.
    > - those selling onlne subscription based training
    > - selling training (27 CDs) - no books required - for as low as $795
    > - Microsoft's own book, classroom, e-learning etc
    >
    > Which route should I follow - what modules/exams I need to start from -
    > which company/offering. Being a cheapskate and currently skint, I am
    > looking
    > for the 'biggest bang for my buck'.
    >
    > All thoughts/ guidance gratefully received.
    Consultant, Jul 31, 2007
    #6
  7. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    TheITGirl Guest

    "Montreal MCT" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi FreeSpirit,
    >
    > Firstly welcome back into the fold! TheITGirl has given you some good
    > advice. I hope she will not mind if I kick in my own two cents worth
    > (sorry, I am from Canada and do not do pence!)
    >
    > Back in 2000 when I thought I knew everything I made a statement to an
    > assistant that I could pass my certification exams without any problems
    > because I had looked at the syllabus and knew most of the material. Of
    > course I was wrong, and it was a humbling lesson that I have not
    > forgotten. Certification exams are not easy, even if you know the
    > material.
    >
    > If you truly are a free spirit then you probably do not need the classroom
    > training, but what ITGirl says is a great idea. Microsoft Press' Self
    > Paced Training series are not only great books (I count 14 of them on my
    > bookshelf) they come with excellent practice tests which are a very good
    > benchmark for how ready you are for the real thing. I have never failed
    > an exam that I used those practice tests to prepare for. If you are ready
    > then you can go and take the exam live. If you are not the Readiness
    > Review will tell you what areas you are weak on so that you can go back
    > and study pinpointed areas rather than the whole show.
    >
    > If you do find yourself in need of mentoring these newsgroups are always
    > available... and though often you will have to wade through a lot of chaff
    > to get to the wheat, it will not take you too long to see whose answers
    > you should depend on and whose you should question.
    >
    > Many of us maintain blogs and write articles about the certification
    > process. Aside from my blog you should check out www.certguard.com,
    > always a good source of material.
    >
    > Good luck and enjoy the journey!
    >
    > M
    >
    > --
    > Mitch Garvis, MCT
    > MCSA, MCITP, MCDST, MCTS
    > Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Customer Experience
    > Visit my blog at http://blog.mitchgarvis.com
    > "FreeSpirit" <> wrote in message
    > news:D...
    >

    Another good source of info I should have mentioned is Microsoft's TechNet -
    it can be really helpful and, best of all, it's free!

    IT Girl MCDST
    TheITGirl, Jul 31, 2007
    #7
  8. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    catwalker63 Guest

    =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?= <>
    prattled ceaselessly in
    news::

    > Thanks very much 'TheITGirl' for the quick response. I am, as you
    > rightly guessed, in Britain. Nice to have the reply from locals - at
    > least then I know everything is resourceable (sp!!)
    >
    > I shall certainly get the books. My hunt has also brought me to the
    > following:
    >
    > www.microsoft-certification.co.uk - these folks do subscription based
    > training at £599 (24/7 mentoring, free updates etc..)
    >
    > and http://www.pviva1.com/index.asp do CBT offer on and the best value
    > they do is Full MCSE (2003) and CCNA 640-801 for £219.
    >
    > There is a lot of difference - £599 for just one year or £219 for 42
    > CD Roms that will stay with me - good reference/refresher.
    >
    > I would appreciate very much if you or any other kind soul will just
    > give me a low down on these two offerings, or what questions to ask
    > (first one seems very keen to sell and the second one competes on
    > price - I shall go books plus one of these routes.
    >



    Skip the online training and CBTs. Your MS Press books should come with
    trial versions of the software. Combine that with actual or virtual
    machines (both MS Virtual and VMWare have free versions). Get your hands
    on the actual product and you will learn more than from CBTs and online
    or classroom environments.

    --
    Catwalker
    MCNGP #43
    www.mcngp.com
    "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    catwalker63, Jul 31, 2007
    #8
  9. "TheITGirl" <> wrote in message
    news::

    > >

    > Another good source of info I should have mentioned is Microsoft's TechNet -
    > it can be really helpful and, best of all, it's free!
    >
    > IT Girl MCDST


    You make me so proud. :)

    Many people do forget to use TechNet. It is a great resource.

    --
    Michael D. Alligood,
    MCITP, MCTS, MCSA, MCDST
    The I.T. Classroom - http://www.theitclassroom.com/
    CertGuard, Inc. - http://www.certguard.com
    Michael D. Alligood [CertGuard, Inc.], Jul 31, 2007
    #9
  10. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    catwalker63 Guest

    "Consultant" <> prattled ceaselessly in
    news::

    > weird, i started out working on dec as well, then moved to sun, then
    > to client server. small world
    >



    Our CS department had a DEC VAX. I learned to write programs that didn't
    work with Modula2 on a DEC VAX. Tiny little green and black screens with
    keyboards that would sprain your fingers.

    --
    Catwalker
    MCNGP #43
    www.mcngp.com
    "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    catwalker63, Jul 31, 2007
    #10
  11. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    shiv Guest

    Hi,

    i want to know what's fee for mcse 2nd and 3rd paper


    "catwalker63" wrote:

    > "Consultant" <> prattled ceaselessly in
    > news::
    >
    > > weird, i started out working on dec as well, then moved to sun, then
    > > to client server. small world
    > >

    >
    >
    > Our CS department had a DEC VAX. I learned to write programs that didn't
    > work with Modula2 on a DEC VAX. Tiny little green and black screens with
    > keyboards that would sprain your fingers.
    >
    > --
    > Catwalker
    > MCNGP #43
    > www.mcngp.com
    > "Definitely not wearing any underwear."
    >
    shiv, Dec 26, 2007
    #11
  12. =?Utf-8?B?RnJlZVNwaXJpdA==?=

    Briscobar Guest

    "shiv" <shiv @discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > i want to know what's fee for mcse 2nd and 3rd paper


    They cost exactly two and three clues, respectively.
    Briscobar, Dec 26, 2007
    #12
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